Funding sought for Trail rock wall plaques

Group has already raised half of the $10,000 needed to purchased 10 bronze plaques to be placed on Trail neighbourhood rock walls.

A local group committed to the history of Trail’s rock walls plans to further commemorate the city’s stonework this spring.

The Rock Wall Enthusiastico Society has already received half of the $10,000 needed to purchase 10 bronze plaques to be placed in each of the 10 touring neighbourhoods, inspired by the locally produced book “Set in Stone: A History of Trail’s Rock Walls.”

Though the City of Trail recently rejected the society’s request to top up its efforts with $5,000, the book’s author Eileen Pederson said the group is confident it will get the funding it needs and still plans for installation in May.

“What we want to do now, what we’re calling, ‘the icing on the cake,’ is to have 10 bronze plaques made for 10 walls around the city,” she said. “It’s always been on our minds to have bronze plaques and this is the third year we are looking for funding to do that.”

City corporate administrator Michelle McIsaac said the city’s cash grant-in-aid budget is limited and that’s why council advised the society to go after funding through the Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Initiatives Program during a presentation last week.

Pedersen’s six-year vision to document and celebrate the history, culture and beauty of Trail’s rock walls was born as a photo essay in 2002. A year later, the society formed and began gathering photos and the historical stories of the walls. The project blossomed from curiosity and an abundance of support and the story was later bound in 2008.

The pages come to life when one sets out on the tour, said Pederson, adding that Trail’s other historical characteristics from the covered stairs to the narrow streets and homes in West Trail also add to the walk down memory lane.

The walking tours – laid out in a brochure available at the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, City Hall and Hall Printing – have been a huge attraction for people looking to get some exercise and at the same time discover Trail’s history on foot.